We Fight the Nigerian Scam with Education
The Nigerian Scam (419 Advance Fee Fraud) Defined
A Five Billion US$ (as of 1996, many more billions now) worldwide Scam which has run since the early 1980's under Successive Governments of Nigeria. It is also referred to as "419 Fraud" (Four-One-Nine) after a formerly relevant section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria, "419 Advance Fee Fraud (419 AFF)", and "The Nigerian Connection" (mostly in Europe). However, it is usually called plain old "419" even by the Nigerians themselves. 419 is defined as a sub-classification of Advance Fee Fraud in which the criminals have a West African (primarily Nigerian) connection. There are of course Advance Fee Fraud criminals of many nationalities, operating in many nations, but only Advance Fee Fraud crime with a West African (primarily Nigerian) connection is classified as 419. 419ers operate globally and there are 419er cells in many nations, but Nigeria tends to be the "home office" of most 419ers regardless of the physical location of an individual cell. 419 crime is multinational and transnational. In recent years the massive use of e-mail and the internet to perpetrate 419 crime have made it virtually omnipresent.
Historically, 419 is said to be a modern derivative of traditional centuries old West African scams and pranks such as the "Red Mercury" scam (a "magical substance" advance fee fraud scam very similar to Black Currency 419, which is described below. Although 419 has often been erroneously described as an evolution of an old European advance fee fraud called the "Spanish Prisoner" scam, after a journalist doing an early article on noted the similarities between it and certain forms of 419, in actuality 419 is more of a "home grown" enterprise as it were.
419 Scams operate as follows: the target receives an unsolicited fax, email, or letter often concerning Nigeria or another African nation containing either a money laundering or other illegal proposal OR you may receive a Legal and Legitimate business proposal by normal means. Common variations on the Scam include "overinvoiced" or "double invoiced" oil or other supply and service contracts where your Bad Guys want to get the overage out of Nigeria (Classic 419); crude oil and other commodity deals and Purchase Order 419 (forms of Goods and Services 419); a "bequest" left you in a will (Will Scam 419); "money cleaning" where your Bad Guy has a lot of currency that needs to be "chemically cleaned" before it can be used and he needs the cost of the chemicals (Black Currency 419, also called Wash-Wash) ; "spoof banks" where there is supposedly money in your name already on deposit; "paying" for a purchase with a check larger than the amount required and asking for change to be advanced (cashier's check and money order 419); fake lottery 419; chat room and romance 419 (usually coupled with one of the other forms of 419); employment 419 (including secret shopper 419) ; and ordering items and commodities off "trading" and "auction" sites on the web and then cheating the seller. The variations of Advance Fee Fraud (419) are very creative and virtually endless, so do not consider the above as an all-inclusive list!
At some point, the victim is asked to pay up front an Advance Fee of some sort, be it an "Advance Fee", "Transfer Tax", "Performance Bond", or to extend credit, grant COD privileges, send back "change" on an overage cashier's check or money order, whatever. If the victim pays the Fee, there are often many "Complications" which require still more advance payments until the victim either quits, runs out of money, or both. If the victim extends credit on a given transaction etc. he may also pay such fees ("nerfund" etc.), and also stiffed for the Goods or Service with NO Effective Recourse.
Most 419 letters and emails originate from or are traceable back to Nigeria. However, some originate from other nations, mostly also West African nations such as Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast ( Cote D'Ivoire ) etc. In most cases 419 emails from other nations (even European nations like the UK, the Netherlands, Spain etc. ) are also Nigerian in that the "Home Office" of the 419ers involved is Nigeria
regardless of the apparent source of the contact materials. But there are occasionally some "local" copycats trying to emulate the success of the Nigerians, generally not very successfully.
The Nigerian Scam is, according to published reports, the Third to Fifth largest industry in Nigeria. It is the 419 Coalition view that the elites from which the governing classes of Nigeria are drawn contain 419 Scammers which can make it difficult for victims seeking recourse in these matters.
PLEASE DON'T SEND 419 COALITION A COPY OF THE 419 SOLICITATION YOU RECEIVED, we've seen tens of thousands already.
DO NOT RESPOND TO THE 419ER and DO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT APPLY TO YOU AS GIVEN IN THE "WHAT TO DO" SECTIONS BELOW (scroll way down)..
Please Read the ENTIRE site BEFORE contacting 419 Coalition for information, questions etc. as ALL AVAILABLE INFORMATION AND DATA IS ALREADY SUMMARIZED AND POSTED UP ON THIS SITE.
Scroll down to our News section below for news articles on 419 from 1996 to the present (nearly 20 years worth of articles etc.), many say this is the Best section of the site. Readers also find our Links ("Fighters") section to be quite useful; scroll down for that as well.
Some History of, and Remarks Concerning, the Nigerian EFCC If not interested in this material, just scroll down to the next section
Monies stolen by 419 operations are very rarely recovered from Nigeria. although the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) when led by Nuhu Ribadu and Ibrahim Lamorde made some welcome progress in that regard for several years prior to 2008.
Ribadu and Lamorde were, however, replaced by Mrs. Farida Waziri as head of the EFCC in early 2008. Under her leadership, it is our view and the consensus of most counter-419ers as we understand it, that the EFCC was not as active in counter-419 matters as it was under Ribadu and Lamorde. 419 Coalition believes that EFCC performance in the area of recovery and repatriation of 419ed monies was particularly bad under Waziri. For example, in the Odiawa case, in which the EFCC was able to convict the 419er several years ago, and the court ordered restitution of over a million dollars to the victim, the victim didn't see a dime while Waziri was in charge - very disappointing. Mrs. Waziri was herself replaced in November 2011.
Ibrahim Lamorde returned to the EFCC as Director of Operations in December 2010, and replaced Waziri as Director of the EFCC in November 2011. Under his leadership EFCC performance in arresting and convicting 419ers has improved. However, EFCC performance in the recovery and repatriation of 419ed funds remains dismal - for example, in the famous Odiawa case mentioned above, the victim still has received nothing whatever of the million plus dollars in restitution Ordered by the Court. This despite the fact that the EFCC has publicly announced that it has a pool of hundreds of millions of dollars recovered from 419ers that is unclaimed and unrepatriated (to date).
One would think this fund of hundreds of millions of dollars recovered from 419ers could be used to pay Court Ordered Restitutions promptly, with the EFCC subsequently replenishing the pool as it recovers monies from the convicted 419er in the case, or from unclaimed monies recovered from other 419ers, but no common-sense move like that has been made as yet. So this pool of hundreds of millions of dollars is "parked" at Central Bank of Nigeria or somewhere (hopefully intact and perhaps even earning interest) helping no victims of 419 at all to date. And of course these monies should be available to be repatriated to victims of 419. After all, the monies belong to victims of 419 - not to the EFCC nor the Nigerian Government. Just because the EFCC and the Nigerian Government recovered these monies (and more power to them for that, we hope they recover Billions more) it doesn't mean they get to KEEP it. That is the 419 Coalition view, in any case.
THE FIVE RULES FOR DOING BUSINESS WITH NIGERIA
Courtesy of The 419 Coalition
1. NEVER pay anything up front for ANY reason.